ClickSuccess L.P., a firm that sells financial tools and products online, purchased CreditCards.com in 2004. It was the biggest domain-only sale in years. Casino.com was part of a massive $5.5 million deal in 2003, but its sale included a number of other assets.
Rick Schwartz sold Candy.com to G&J Holdings for a sweet $3 million in 2009.
G&J Holdings is owned by Greg Balestrieri and Joe Melville, cousins who grew up working in their family-owned candy company. They wanted to create easy access to sugary sweets online, so they made a big bet on the simple domain.
A billionaire in Russia who owns the country’s largest vodka maker, Russian Standard Co., purchased Vodka.com for $3 million in December 2006.
Date sold: March 2014
Whisky.com was sold by Castello Cities Internet Network in a domain-only sale. Michael Castello purchased the domain 19 years ago, in March 1995, when it cost nothing to obtain.
“I had the original registration in March of 1995, and I registered it for free,” Castello wrote in DN Journal. “I always liked Scotch whisky, but the real reason I registered Whisky.com was because of the Whisky a Go Go night club in Hollywood. I always enjoyed “The Whisky”, with its musical heritage and scene where the likes of The Doors and Janis Joplin played. Years later, I even offered Whisky.com to the owner’s son and he told me he didn’t need it since they already registered WhiskyaGoGo.com. That rejection would prove to be good for me.”
Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi purchased MI.com in the biggest domain sale of 2014 through a private sale. It’s said to be the most expensive domain name purchased by a Chinese Internet company, and Xiaomi intends to use it to make its brand name easier to remember.
Date sold: September 2013
Igloo/NetNames helped sell IG.com for almost $5 million in September 2013. It was purchased by London’s IG Group; it was previously owned by Brazil search engine iG.
Date sold: May 2014
eHeathInsurance.com paid $4.8 million for Medicare.com last spring.
It paid $4.3 million in cash and $300,000 in debt, according to Domain Name Sales Report.
Year sold: 2008
Shoe company Zappos coughed up almost $5 million for the domain Clothes.com.
Now both are owned by Amazon, but Clothes.com still redirects to Zappos’s apparel selection, not Amazon’s main site.
Year sold: 2009
Toys.com was originally sold for $1.25 million as part of a bankruptcy court proceeding.
Then, days later, it was put up for auction again and Toys R Us ended up shelling out just over $5 million for the powerful domain name.
It’s kind of surprising how basic the site still looks today.
As TechCrunch pointed out at the time of the sale, that is more than $1 million per character.
Date sold: November 2014
The Japanese internet service provider GMO Internet bought Z.com from Nissan Motors for 800 million yen, or about $6,784,000.
Z.com is one of only three single-character domain names currently existing in the .com space, GMO says.
Odimo.com handed over the domain to an online jewelry retailer, Ice.com, in a private sale for one of the priciest domain name swaps of all time.
But guess what? It’s back on the market.
GoDaddy, which is brokering the deal, says it’s looking for jewelry buyers, or otherwise. “It can also be used for credit card rewards or things of that nature,” a GoDaddy exec told The Domains. “We want to make sure this gets the white glove treatment it deserves.”
Year sold: 2007
At the time of its sale, Porn.com was the biggest all-cash transaction for a domain name and the second-largest domain sale behind Sex.com’s $12 million exit. Moniker helped sell the domain to MXN Limited.
Date sold: February 2015
Add an “o”, and the deal gets even better.
The story of how “Domain King” Rick Schwartz flipped Porno.com is pretty incredible.
He bought it from a college kid way back in 1997, paying $42,000 even though the kid had snagged it for only $5,000 the week before.
Schwartz told The Domains that, since then, the site earned “well in excess of over $10 million via parking and redirects without every providing actual adult content.” Meaning that he likely reeled in more than $20 million total from the scandalous domain.
The buyer in February’s massive, all-cash sale was reportedly a company in Prague that also owns Swingers.com and PornoTv.com.
Year sold: 2008
Clek Media brokered a deal that few people believed was real: The URL was purchased by a company called Fund.com in an all-cash deal in 2008.
After the flashy sale, Fund.com ran into a lot of trouble. It had to declare most of its financials unreliable in 2009 and continuously failed to file reports. The man behind it — Jason Galanis — reportedly has an interesting history. If you go to the site now, it’s a white background with the phrase, “Please come back later to check FUND.com.”
Year sold: 2010
Sex.com entered the Guinness Book of World Records for the highest domain-only sale in history.
Escom LLC, which had gone bankrupt, sold it to Clover Holdings Ltd.
“It was not immediately clear what Clover Holdings plans to do with the web address,” Reuters reported at the time, but we think we can probably guess…